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WHYY’s veteran team includes (from left) Tom Byrne, Bill Cook and Stephanie Aldrich.  Photograph by Jared CastaldiWhen WHYY-TV aired its final broadcast of “Delaware Tonight” on July 17, the First State lost its only statewide news and public affairs program. But the crew is back, producing the weekly newsmagazine “First.”

“First” is a 30-minute program with three in-depth stories and roundtable discussions named “First Person” and “State of Play.” It gets its polished look from three polished hosts: Stephanie Aldrich, Tom Byrne and Bill Cook. The TV veterans were part of the team that developed the concept, says Chris Satullo, WHYY’s executive director of news and civic dialogue.

The new format allows reporters to create investigative pieces. “I love being able to delve deeper into the issues,” says Aldrich. “Five-minute pieces are very different than short news segments.” And talking head segments staffed by local pols, press people and other notables reveal serious insider stuff. A segment called “First Experience,” which caps each episode, explores local arts and culture. The show is taped at WHYY’s Orange Street studios in Wilmington, then sent to the flagship Philadelphia station for digital editing.

The show is broadcast Fridays at 5:30 p.m. and again at 10 p.m. It is repeated at 11 a.m. Saturdays and streamed at whyy.org/video.

The newsmagazine actually gets more airtime than its predecessor. WHYY took some heavy criticism after it canceled “Delaware Tonight.”

“Despite much misinformation spread by others, WHYY’s commitment to covering the news in Delaware has never wavered,” Satullo says.

Managing editor and executive producer John Mussoni says “First” was designed to follow a block of PBS heavyweights such as “Washington Week” and “Bill Moyers Journal.” “If you like watching the 10 o’clock news,” he says, “you’ll love this slot.”

Daily stories are still produced for the Web. “And sometimes,” says Aldrich, “our stories make it on NPR. So exciting.” —Maria Hess
 

Page 2: A Baron, a CAD and a Queen |  Stuart Baron is on a mission to take the Delaware College of Art and Design national and beyond. He certainly paints a pretty picture.

 

Stuart Baron is the second president of the Delaware College of Art and Design in Wilmington.A Baron, a CAD and a Queen

 Stuart Baron is on a mission to take the Delaware College of Art and Design national and beyond. He certainly paints a pretty picture.

Stuart Baron recently strolled a block down Wilmington’s Market Street to tour the soon-to-be-renovated Queen Theater.

Baron, president of the nearby Delaware College of Art and Design, had an odd reaction when he first viewed the rainbow-stained, weathered innards of the neglected structure.

“I was thrilled to see the condition of the place,” he says. “It was kind of a mess. It was like looking at a Piranesi drawing.”

Baron, an abstract painter, obviously has an appreciation for art. He also has a penchant for rebirth, as he has previously tackled condo conversions and rebuilt several homes. “I like to see things as they were,” he says. “I think it’s incredibly exciting.”

Baron accepted another building challenge in July when he became just the second president of DCAD in its first dozen years. He is charged with taking the two-year arts school to the next level by increasing enrollment and attracting students from outside the tri-state area.

“DCAD already had a great reputation when I came here,” Baron says. “But that reputation has a limited geographic scope. Our job is to increase the word and become a more national presence.”

Baron plans to use the Internet to attract students from afar, perhaps even internationally. “We need to infuse the school with students from other cultural experiences,” he says. “That can only add to what our current students bring, so it’s not so homogeneous.”

In the meantime, Baron and DCAD will continue to work with folks like Bill Taylor of The Queen to turn lower Market Street into a thriving destination point.

“Our students will gravitate to The Queen immediately,” Baron says. “It will have food, music and it’s right down the street. There will be many ways that we can help each other. We’ll discuss what those ways are…

“It’s a little early in the process,” Baron says. “They have to put in some windows and doors first.”  —Drew Ostroski
 

Page 3: Biden Time | A monthly review of the veep.

 

Biden Time

 A monthly review of the veep.

From Leno: “When Vice President Joe Biden heard that President Obama won the Nobel Prize, he was speechless. So it’s already doing some good.” That kind of joke is like taking a baseball bat to roadkill. We should know.

Boston’s Guerilla Opera Company performs an opera tragi-comedy called, “Say It Ain’t So, Joe!” based on the veep debates between Joe and Sarah Palin. Like we needed another reason to dislike bad opera.

Joe is featured on a Newsweek cover that screams, “Why Joe is No Joke.” It’s our second-most favorite magazine cover that’s ever featured the veep.
 

Page 4: Arnie’s Army of One | Local dentist and shutterbug Howdy Giles publishes a book in tribute to his idol—and good friend—Arnold Palmer.

 

Arnie (right) turns the tables on his toothy dentist pal, Wilmington’s Howdy Giles.Arnie’s Army of One

 Local dentist and shutterbug Howdy Giles publishes a book in tribute to his idol—and good friend—Arnold Palmer.

Go ahead and accuse Howdy Giles of stalking golf legend Arnold Palmer. You won’t offend. “You’re not the first person to say that to me,” says Giles, a Wilmington dentist and newly christened author. “But they didn’t use that word back then.”

It took a few years of following one of sports’ most popular figures—Giles even obsessed over one day becoming Palmer’s dentist—but the two formed a friendship in the 1970s. Giles has been living a dream ever since.

The superfan is sharing his unique story in a book called, “The King and I: An Unlikely Journey from Fan to Friend.” Considering the wariness of today’s sports celebrities and the antics of stalkers, forming a relationship like Giles and Palmer’s is highly unlikely.

That’s what makes “The King and I” so endearing. The photo-driven volume, published by Triumph Books (Random House’s sports division), features more than 200 of Giles’ snapshots that span 50 years. Many photos include Giles, described by one writer as “the field general of Arnie’s Army.” Delawareans, such as restaurateur and course owner Davis Sezna, and many celebrities, also turn up.

Giles first captured his idol on film in 1965 during a Miss America parade in Atlantic City. He went on to snap more than 300,000 photos of Palmer. One image was used by LeRoy Neiman to paint a famous portrait. Others appear on Arizona Arnold Palmer iced tea labels.

In the book, Giles recounts personal and public moments he shared with Arnie—including finally becoming Palmer’s dentist. The book was released in September in honor of Palmer’s 80th birthday. Perhaps most rewarding to Giles is that in his foreword, Palmer crowns Giles his No. 1 fan.

“My line is, I try to make everybody an Arnold Palmer fan,” Giles says. “He’s enriched my life so much.”  —Drew Ostroski
 

Page 5: A Place to Lay Their Heads | A statewide campaign to collect 2,600 sleeping bags for homeless children ends this month.

 

Wendy Strauss helped organize the campaign, which continues until December 20. Photograph by Robin CoventryA Place to Lay Their Heads

 A statewide campaign to collect 2,600 sleeping bags for homeless children ends this month.

Wendy Strauss tells the story of a 10-year-old in foster care who was forced to move six times in one year. The boy, along with more than 2,000 other Delaware youth, is considered by the state to be homeless. With the foundering economy leading to foreclosures and job losses and creating other hardships for parents, that list is growing. More of the state’s children are forced to sleep in shelters, vehicles—even outdoors.

“People don’t realize we have so many homeless children,” says Strauss, executive administrator of the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens and an organizer of a statewide sleeping bag campaign. “Homeless means they could be in foster care or sleeping on the floor at a relative’s home. They don’t have a permanent roof over their head.”

That is why the advisory council and other state agencies are combining to collect and distribute new sleeping bags for 2,600 young people, ages 3 to 21. Sleeping bags, says Strauss, provide warmth and security for a child. Like the 10-year-old of Strauss’ story, no matter where they go, they have their own bag. “There is one constant, a sleeping bag goes with them,” she says. “It’s a place to lay their heads.”

For more, visit gacec.delaware.gov/. The campaign ends December 20.   —Drew Ostroski

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